Saturday, May 20, 2006

I am an AUTHOR

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I'm an author. It's hard to remember as I'm looking at piles of laundry, sinks full of dishes, dirty floors, and overflowing kitchen cabinets, while I'm homeschooling my kids or reminding myself (for the fiftieth time) that I need to buy cereal. Life is life, no matter what your occupation. But there are times (few and far between) when I leave the dishes, the laundry, the floors, and the disorganized cabinets behind, when I actually take time to fix my hair, put on make-up, wear clothes meant for something other than hanging out at home. When I step out into another world and become Shirlee the AUTHOR.

Yesterday was one of those days. Months ago, my editor invited me to sign books at an expo in D.C. I said yes, not realizing that it was THE book expo of the year. Huge, immense. Magnificent. If you love books you'll appreciate it when I say it was book-lovers-paradise. I would have happily sold my house and moved into the building if I didn't have a husband and kids to go home to (and if the expo people weren't planning to pack all those beautiful books up and move them out on Sunday :-))

But I'm getting off topic.

I went to the expo filled with dread, knowing I'd be sitting at a table trying to hock my books while people passed me by for more famous authors. Instead, I sat at a table with another LI author and signed books for a steady stream of people. It's amazing how many more people are willing to buy a free book ;0). Here's the really fun part. While I signed, a sweet young lady named Meghan stood beside me, pulling books from the stack, opening to the proper page and sliding them over to me. I had no fear of papercuts, broken nails, wrinkled pages from rushing. She worked. I signed.

And for forty-five blessed minutes I was a superstar. Shirlee the author. Shirlee who'd made it, who'd worked hard, who'd achieved her dreams.

Of course, the truth is much less grand. Meghan was doing her job and doing it beautifully. Not just turning pages, but turning people toward the other two LI authors who were signing. It wasn't about me, but about the line, and more importantly, the company. I was impressed with Meghan's ability to step in at just the right moment, with just the right words, building up the company she works for by selling me, my product, and the product of the other authors there.

So, it occurred to me that I might be an AUTHOR, but there are other more important people in this business. People like Meghan. People who oil the wheels and keep them moving, and in doing so make someone like me feel like a superstar.

If you're an author you'll understand what I'm saying. If you're an aspiring author, I hope this inspires you to keep working. It's all worth it for those forty-five minutes! And if you're a wheel oiler like Meghan - your work doesn't go unnoticed. Thanks!


Jennifer Tiszai said...

That sounds like a great experience. How fun to be surrounded by so many books and then get to do a signing.

But I bet it was nice to get home too. :)

Shirlee McCoy said...

Home is my favorite place, Jennifer. Book signings are fun, but what really matters are the people we love, the lives we touch, and our willingness to live for Him. In the end, that's all that will count!

However, being surrounded by books and authors is right up there on my great experiences list :-).